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    January 6, 2016
Past Issues   

Elections open for district judicial nominating commissioners

The district judicial nominating commissioner election voting period is now open until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 31. A total of 15 attorney positions are open in each of Iowa’s 14 judicial election subdistricts. The election will be conducted electronically and is completely confidential.


With the exception of judicial election district 5C, all districts are to elect one eligible elector. The person to be elected in Districts 1A, 1B, 3A, 3B, 5A, 5B and 7 shall be a female; the person to be elected in Districts 2A, 2B, 4, 6, 8A and 8B shall be a male. The eligible resident members in District 5C are to elect two electors; one shall be a male and one shall be a female. See Iowa Code §46.4 and 602.11111(3)(2015) for procedural details. Members of the district judicial nominating commissions serve six-year terms.


The following lawyers filed nominating petitions and will appear on the ballot:

Stephanie Fueger (1A)

Whitney Schiller (1A)

Nina Forcier (1B)

Brian Miller (2A)

Joel Yunek (2A)

Stuart Cochrane (2B)

Jonathan Holscher (2B)

John Jordan (2B)

Benjamin Smith (2B)

Abby Walleck (3A)

Jennifer Wippert (3A)

Jennifer Zupp (3B)

Gregory Barntsen (4)

Thomp "T.J." Pattermann (4)

Ashley Grieser (5A)

Meggan Guns (5A)

Loretta Harvey (5B)

Kevin Driscoll (5C)

Gerald "Jake" Feuerhelm (5C)

Sarah Kouri (5C)

Ann Smisek (5C)

Donald Stanley, Jr. (5C)

Coreen Sweeney (5C)

Brooke Timmer (5C)

Tammy Westhoff Gentry (5C)


Jacob Koller (6)

Darin Luneckas (6)

Raymond Stefani II (6)

Mark Thompson (6)

Jennie Clausen (7)

Korie Shippee (7)

Timothy Dille (8A)

Paul Gandy(8A)

Dustin Hite (8A)

Ryan Mitchell (8A)

John Webber III (8A)

Ross Braden (8B)

Nicholas Pothitakis (8B)


To cast a ballot, attorneys should first log into their accounts on the Office of Professional Regulation website at Then, locate the menu item "Judicial Nominating Elections,” clicking the menu button "Vote in Current Election,” and selecting "January 31, 2016” from the drop-down box. From there, attorneys should make their selections and click "Cast Ballot” to submit their votes.


Questions about the voting procedure should be directed to or 515-281-5241.

Anderson named dean of Drake University Law School

Jerry Anderson, the Richard M. and Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor of Law, has been named dean of Drake University Law School, effective July 1, 2016. He succeeds Ben Ullem, who is currently serving a two-year term as dean of the law school.


"I am honored to be selected to lead the law school during an important time in its history,” said Anderson, who has served on the Drake University Law School faculty since 1991. "We are in the midst of a transformative period in legal education, and Drake is well-positioned to creatively adapt to the changing needs of students and the profession.”

"Dean Ullem has done excellent work to lay a foundation for several important initiatives that I plan to carry forward," Anderson said. "I thank him for his incredible service to the law school, both as an alumnus and as dean.”


In recent years, Drake University Law School has introduced new and revamped program offerings designed to serve modern employment needs, including a master’s program designed for non-lawyers who need some knowledge of the law in order to enhance their professional careers. The law school also revamped its master of jurisprudence and juris doctor programs, so students can now take courses part-time, making it more convenient for working professionals.


Anderson hopes to enhance the 150-year-old Drake University Law School's visibility and profile on the national scale—and also locally, where the law school serves the Greater Des Moines community, including through pro bono work performed by the Drake University Legal Clinic.


Anderson earned his B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Kansas and his J.D. at Stanford Law School. Before joining Drake University Law School in 1991, he taught at the Catholic University of America Columbus Law School and University of Oklahoma Law School.


While at Drake University Law School, Anderson has twice been selected as the Leland Forrest Outstanding Professor of the Year, and he served as associate dean from 1996 to 2001. His areas of expertise include administrative law, environmental law, natural resources law and property law.


More information about Anderson is available at this link.

First attorney admitted to the Iowa Bar by UBE

Meredith Cooney, who took the Uniform Bar Exam in the State of Washington, is officially the first person to be admitted to the Iowa Bar by a transferred UBE score. She filed her application just days after the Supreme Court opened the transfer admissions process Dec.1, 2015, and was sworn in Dec. 29, 2015. 


The Iowa Supreme Court announced last year that the Iowa Bar Examination would consist of the UBE prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  The UBE consists of a multiple choice portion, six essay questions, and two performance tests.  The first UBE will be given in February 2016, but giving the test is only one aspect of the UBE’s impact.

"Certainly the primary benefit of the UBE is enabling applicants who take the examination here to obtain a portable bar exam score they can take to other participating states and seek admission without having to take another bar examination,” said Dave Ewert of the Office of Professional Regulation.  "This benefit not only improves job opportunities and lowers costs for beginning lawyers, but it also gives firms the ability to expand their reach by having young lawyers licensed in multiple jurisdictions.”

The UBE also allows firms to more quickly bring in new attorneys who have achieved a UBE score in another state that meets Iowa’s passing score.  The applicants just have to pass the character and fitness process and meet any other conditions of admission.

"I am thrilled to return to my home state and look forward to practicing law in Iowa,” said Cooney. "I am so glad I was able to utilize the UBE score transfer process to do so.  Obtaining my license via UBE score transfer was quick, efficient, and allowed me to return to Iowa without the stress of studying and sitting for another bar exam.  A process that would typically take several months took only a few weeks.  The UBE recognizes that we are living in an increasingly mobile society and provides a way for attorneys to start practicing in their new jurisdiction in far less time than before. I am confident Iowa's adoption of the UBE will attract talented attorneys from other UBE jurisdictions and strengthen the caliber of our bar, and I am so proud to be its newest member.”

"Cooney will no doubt be a welcome addition to the Iowa bar, and UBE should be a boon to Iowa for years to come,” said Ewert.


RSVP by next Monday for Rural Practice Committee’s group attorney-student interviewing event

Time is drawing near to RSVP for the ISBA Rural Practice Committee’s second "meet and greet” event to be held on Friday, Jan. 15 at the ISBA headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Reservations are requested by Monday, Jan. 11, to give the committee time to make the final preparations.


The "meet and greet” event provides attorneys looking to hire an associate or a summer clerk an opportunity to interview numerous students in one location in a short period of time. Plans are to hold a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon for 3L students and attorneys wishing to hire full-time associates. An afternoon session from 1- 4 p.m., will be dedicated to 1L and 2L students and attorneys wanting to hire summer clerks. Attorneys and students attending the morning session are also welcome to participate in the afternoon session.


A free lunch will be provided for attorneys and students from noon to 1 p.m.


Please RSVP by Jan. 11 to Phil Garland, committee chair, or Steve Boeckman, committee staff liaison. Garland’s contact information is or 641-923-3792. Boeckman’s contact information is or 515-490-2279. Please indicate your hiring preference and which session (or both) you will attend. Also indicate whether you will be eating lunch.

IRS rates on overpayments/underpayments to remain the same for next quarter

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that interest rates on the overpayment or underpayment of taxes will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning Jan. 1, 2016, as they were in the previous quarter.  The rates will be:

  • Three percent for overpayments -- two percent in the case of a corporation;
  • Three percent for underpayments;
  • Five percent for large corporate underpayments; and
  • One-half percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis.  For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus three percentage points.


Click here to read how the IRS determines quarterly interest rates on overpayments and underpayments of tax under Section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Aflac accident, cancer/specified-disease insurance policies now available

The ISBA is now making Aflac accident and cancer/specified-disease insurance policies available to ISBA members. Reynolds & Reynolds, Inc., is the ISBA endorsed broker for insurance products and services other than professional liability insurance.


More specifically, for a covered accident, Aflac policy holders receive cash benefits. In addition, Aflac's cancer/specified-disease insurance policies are designed to pay cash benefits that can be used to help offset cancer-related expenses and to help with a variety of daily living expenses.


Additional products are available through payroll deduction including short term disability, critical illness and hospital. Aflac coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, Georgia.


Individuals interested in additional information regarding the Aflac insurance policies now available to ISBA members, click here or contact Reynolds & Reynolds, Inc., by phone at 515-557-1251 or via email at

U.S. Dept. of Labor trial attorney vacancy

The U.S. Dept. of Labor is seeking applicants for a trial attorney position for the Kansas City, Missouri, branch of the Chicago Regional Solicitor’s Office. The full-time appointment will be filled at the GS-11, 12 or 13 level. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 11, 2016.


Applicants should have at least two years of litigation experience, an excellent academic record and strong writing and litigation skills. Experience in employment and labor law is preferred. U.S. citizenship and bar membership is required. To apply, send a cover letter with resume and writing sample to Shelly Zipp, Office of the Regional Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, 2300 Main Street, Two Pershing Square, Suite 1020, Kansas City, MO 64108.


In Other News ...

The end of lawyers? Not so fast.

Lawyers have been described as the canaries in the coal mine in the face of a wave of automation now beginning to displace highly skilled white-collar workers. In recent years, the increasing reliance on so-called "e-discovery” software in lawsuits raised the specter that $35-an-hour paralegals as well as $400-an-hour lawyers would fall victim to programs that could read and analyze legal documents more quickly and accurately than humans.

The New York Times


Advocating for elders suffering financial abuse and exploitation

The older population in the United States is expected to increase dramatically in the years ahead as members of the Baby Boom generation reach age 65. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million senior citizens, comprising about 20 percent of the country’s total population. Given this projection, the United States should prepare itself for the many changes that will accompany the rise in population of older Americans.

GP Solo


The IRA Charitable Rollover federal law

Friday, December 18th, 2015, was a historic day in American philanthropy. Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the IRA Charitable Rollover law. This law presents huge opportunities for nonprofits and the donors who fund them. What does this mean? The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals aged 701⁄2 and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs directly to charities, tax-free.

Gordon Fischer Law Firm


Law column: transgender issues in the workplace

What is a "transgendered” person? Is a transgendered person protected from discrimination and harassment under Iowa law? Transgender individuals are people with a gender identity that is different from the biological sex assigned to them at birth. Someone who is born male but who identifies as female is a transgender person and a woman. Similarly, a person born female but who identifies as male is a transgender person and a man.

The Gazette, Cedar Rapids


Chief Justice Roberts wants less courtroom gamesmanship

The most senior judge in our land had some critical words for his more junior federal counterparts and for lawyers in general. In Chief Justice Robert's opinion, there's just too much in the way of bad-faith tactics in the practice of law. Whatever happened, lamented the Chief Justice, to just, speedy, and efficient resolutions to civil disputes?

The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to Contact information should be included with submissions. The ISBA reserves the right to refuse any submission but will take all submissions into consideration for future publication.

December 24

No. 14–0413 


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Henry W. Latham II, Judge.

Claimant appeals from summary judgment dismissing claims of pregnancy discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act and equal protection and due process violations under the Iowa Constitution. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.



    The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

    • Sendil Devadas, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Johnston, Iowa;
    • Matthew Scott Rousseau, Brimfield, Massachusetts;
    • Andrew Noga, Guide I Insurance, West Des Moines, Iowa;
    • Richard Gene Cook, Jr., Macomb, Illinois;
    • Nathaniel Abel Nieman, Nieman Law Group, Moline, Illinois;
    • James J. Temple, Mulherin, Rehfeldt & Varchetto, P.C., Wheaton, Illinois;
    • Amy Bertke Nestor, Genesis Health, Davenport, Iowa;
    • Brian James Rybarik, MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines, Iowa;
    • Lauri Dianne Jackson, Premier Bankcard, L.L.C., Sioux Falls, South Dakota;
    • Sheila Diane Corbine, Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan, L.L.P., Winnebago, Nebraska;
    • Emily L. Droll Scott, ACT, Inc., Iowa City, Iowa;
    • Eric Edward Hamilton, Council Bluffs, Iowa;
    • Mark Jon Blaess, Grimes, Iowa;
    • Gary Rex Walters, Jr., Justice for Our Neighbors, Omaha, Nebraska;
    • Thomas E. Rice, Jr., Baker, Sterchi, Cowden & Rice, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri

    Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicants should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


    Receive all of your CLE credits by using The Iowa State Bar Association’s affordable CLE Season Pass. It’s the one and only pass that offers hundreds of CLE credits at the best price in town!

    For only $550, you can take all the CLE credits you need in a 12 month span. Sign up for the CLE Season Pass and have the opportunity to choose from nearly 300 hours of live CLE.

    Click here to get your season pass today.

    See more ISBA member benefits here



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